The impact of coronavirus has impacted on the construction industry in many ways, the next step would be to make any necessary adjustments and prepare for the worst. This guide will address some of the ways employers and employees should aid the prevention of COVID-19 on the worksite.
Help stop the spread
Employers should provide sufficient PPE for their workers in order to protect their workforce from the spread of COVID. They should encourage the frequent washing of hands by providing hand wash stations. Workers should socially distance when possible and wear masks when in proximity to others, where this is not possible minimal contact is advised. Staggering shifts will also help with reducing the opportunity for groups to gather. Employers are encouraged to carry out risk assessments and share these with the work force to keep everyone informed of current COVID prevention methods.
Any workers that develop symptoms of COVID-19 must self-isolate and request a test. It is also good practice to keep record of work force each day so that it is possible to trace any employees who have been in close contact. This should include anyone who has been face-to-face within one metre of infected person. If the test is positive, the employee should self-isolate for at least 10 days and should be told to not come into work. In the case that they are unable to work from home, they must receive statutory sick pay (if eligible).
The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the Statutory Sick Pay paid to current or former employees. More information regarding the scheme is available on the government website here https://bit.ly/31Ob0rj
If there is more than one case of COVID-19 in a work place, employers should contact their local health protection team and report the suspected outbreak. In the event of an outbreak including multiple people, temporary closure of the construction site is one measure that may be recommended.
Self-employed workers are expected to self-isolate if they or a member of their household test positive for symptoms, develop symptoms or are informed to by NHS tracers. Anyone with symptoms can get a free test and would be encouraged to get tested as soon as symptoms appear. Self-employed people affected by coronavirus may be eligible for grants through the UK-wide Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).
Applications for the second and final SEISS grant are now open. The second and final taxable grant is worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total. To find out if you are eligible visit the government website here https://bit.ly/3fakrFI